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Thread: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

  1. #1

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    What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    Looking at old postcards and photos of studio portraits from 1900-1910 I am really fascinated by the incredibly soft tones and gradations that they have, so I am curious what processes were the most common at the time when it came to shooting and printing.

    I know that by that time multiple options were already available in terms of plate and film stocks, but history books tend to be really vague about details, so I was wondering if anyone has more info on this.

    I have been trying to track down some photo journals from the time (the British Journal Photographic Almanac would likely have details on "the latest trends") but so far I have not had any luck with this.

  2. #2

    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    dry plate for negatives
    albumen paper although it was being replaced by the following:
    POP collodion paper
    POP paper
    in that order
    if I'm mistaken please correct

  3. #3

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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    Y'know, prints age, especially ones that haven't been completely fixed.

  4. #4
    Ray Van Nes
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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    There was also platinum paper commercially made and I believe by 1900, there was silver gelatin.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    A big part of the look came from uncoated lenses and anastigmat designs such as the Tessar and Heliar.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    another complication is historical photographer secrets and deliberate misdirection to keep an edge in a cutthroat business

    there is a long history of obfuscation even now

    and theft
    where is the monolith

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    If there is no image degradation in 120 years, it could be a carbon print.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9

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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter schrager View Post
    dry plate for negatives
    albumen paper although it was being replaced by the following:
    POP collodion paper
    POP paper
    in that order
    if I'm mistaken please correct
    1880s-1890's maybe, by early 1900's it was much more technically sophisticated: bromoiodide emulsions on flexible film & glass plates with colour sensitivity starting to edge into the fully panchromatic; various chloride, bromide & chlorobromoiodide emulsions on paper (and lantern plates). Gaslight (chloride) papers were racing up on gelatin and collodion POP in the amateur market. Siderotypes (platinum etc), gum bichromate, photogravure, Collotype were all relatively commonplace as were various similar processes. Carbon transfer was largely lurking on the edge between mechanical and manual print reproduction owing to its importance in halftone reproduction via gravure (and rotogravure) and collotype. Overall, negative exposure and developing habits more closely resembled what we would regard as having a scale closer to what is regarded as suitable for platinum/ palladium today - and silver papers tended to be softer in scale both because of this & owing to a difficulty in making truly high contrast paper emulsions in anything other than slow gaslight chloride formulae.

  10. #10

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    Re: What were the prevailing process in early 1900s?

    Many "everyday" prints were albumen.

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